Arsenal News Blog

fact and opinion intertwined

A few thoughts on a few players

Posted by James Dall on 5, March 2007

Morning, no blog yesterday as I had to finish the loose ends of my assignment and in some cases other people who were in my group. Group work is a nightmare. Having to rely on others is often very frustrating. However we won on Saturday! I was delighted, if not a bit nervous towards the end.

The DID slot in up front. After my blog the other day I had second thoughts about my idea of putting him up there but he started a long side Baptista. Another surprise was the decision to drop Senderos and play Gilberto at the back. Denilson then partnered Fabregas in midfield. We played pretty well I thought. However we did not take our chances – same old story. Reading were a breath of fresh air, when they gained possession they actually looked to play. Fabregas missed a sitter and Freddie missed an excellent chance, we were lacking that final cutting edge.

Finally we scored through a penalty. Clichy showed outstanding pace and was caught in the box. One nil. Our lead was doubled when we broke off a corner. Baptista got one v one with a defender, kind of over ran it but showed colossal strength to brush the defender aside and poke it in. After this we continued to create but never looked like putting a third away. Strangely Arsene made a sub on a corner. The ball came in and in it went off Fabregas. Own goal. Most people who only saw the highlights will be aware of the miss and own goal but he was superb throughout.

Reading could have snatched a point if it was not for a top save from Jens. We hung on and gained three points, which is of course the most important thing. The fact Liverpool lost (undeservedly) means we are now one point behind them with two games in hand. Lovely stuff. A couple of points before I move on –

Freddie looked a lot sharper, obviously the more games he plays now the better he will look. He chased lost causes and seemed to have a bit of pace about him, maybe he has not lost his zip? Theo up top is by no means the finished article but at 17 he is a frightening prospect. He looked dangerous – his movement was excellent. Baptista, now for me he baffles me. Is he amazing or average? Sometimes his touch is dreadful and other times it is excellent. He is not fast, I think we can establish that. He is a strange one. He scored though so right now he is my good books. There is a question mark over him though. Gallas for me was excellent, apart from when Jens absolutely bollocked him. Jens gave Hleb a stern telling off too. Back to Gallas though who really is superb, so composed and you can tell the fans are at ease when he gains possession. Him and Toure could well form a brilliant partnership. Djourou did ok at right back. Although he did not provide us with too much going forward he still slotted in fine. He has sound control for a centre back. Compare his technique to Senderos and they are miles apart. Speaking of Senderos I plan to write a blog on him soon, basically a lot has been said about him. I am determined to stick by the lad but in my blog I shall write about the pros and cons of him. Oh and you can see the goals from Saturday’s game here.

That is about it for the players, just a quick round up of the news. Although most of you will have, you can read Arsene’s reaction here. Arsene had this to say on Thierry’s injury –

First of all it’s important to know can he play if he is not being 100 per cent? Then we will see if we can put him in the squad. I will do it anyway. If he can run and play, of course, I will do it.

I just hope the manager does not take a big risk on Henry. Adeabyor and Baptista will be a solid partnership if Thierry is not fit. Gilberto talks about talks about Wednesday’s massive game here. There is some nonsense from Kitson about how Denlson tried to break is leg. Rubbish.

That is it for today. Hopefully tomorrow we shall have a clearer idea of who is available for Wednesday. Have a fabulous Monday.

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6 Responses to “A few thoughts on a few players”

  1. Emkay said

    Djourou is a lovely player but I noticed he kept moving to a more central position than the right back place. If Reading had a quality winger we would have been in real trouble. Maybe it is difficult for a central defender to keep out of the middle! Unless your Billy.

  2. JJ said

    Frankly I am surprised by your encouraging remarks on Theo – I do not find his movement good, nor his control or his decision making. After his great goal at Cardiff I was really hoping for a big big improvement in his play this last week. For the money we have paid (11 million or so) I don’t see enough in his locker as even with his notorious speed I haven’t seen him skin any full backs yet. For the money I expect something resembling class. I want him to be better – a lot better but at least we won the game with him in the side so I really really hope he is gaining from the experience. I am also surprised by generous comments for Djourou because from where I was sitting he looked clumsy and was always struggling with ball control. He is no right back I will agree and its frustrating that last year we seemed to have so many options at right back but with behaviour and defensive shortcomings of Eboue and the loss of Lauren and the boy at Cardiff now not getting games there it seems to have become a problem area in the team.
    I am inclined to think perhaps Kolo should be right back against PSV with license to get down the wing when he can, allowing Gilberto to partner Gallas and get our Fab, Denilson and Diaby and Hleb in midifeld.

  3. JJ – you are aware that Theo is only 17. I am aware he did not have a brilliant game on the weekend but he showed glimpses of potential up front. On top of that my comments on Djourou are justified. How many centre backs can slot in at right back? my ‘generous comments’? all i said was tha he ‘did ok’…

  4. lc said

    If Eboue and Hoyte are not available, the genuine alternative is to try Traore at right-back, as we often play Hoyte at left-back and he often does ok. Djourou in my opinion did ok, but he not that quick.

  5. amiripz said

    Arsenal could have easily been punished at the end because of so many ruined chances to score at least 4 or 5.

  6. Flint McCullough said

    Djourou has excellent control and is also very quick. I agree he was having,quite understandably, some positional problems & lacked the confidence to bomb down the wing like Eboue,Hoyte or Clichy. He is a stand in as a RB. Again he is 19 with plenty of experience to be gained.

    He also needs to learn that there are some occasions when he needs to know where row Z is.

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